Friday, October 9, 2015

Tipping Points

There have been several times in my life when I have felt things tip, in the space of a second, where nothing will ever be the same again.

The first was when Bryan proposed.  He slipped a diamond on my finger, and I knew that my life would never be as it was before.  (This remains true.  That proposal altered my destiny in ways both expected and unexpected.)  One second we were boyfriend girlfriend, and the next, our destinies were woven together.

The second and third are related.  The moment when the pregnancy test showed two lines, my hands shook and I burst into happy tears.  I wanted that baby SO MUCH and I knew I would never be the same again.  The third moment is, of course, holding beautiful Katherine in my arms, amazed that she existed, that I could hold her, that I was forevermore a mother.  I knew there was no going back, that every part of my life had just changed.

Then, cancer.  I got the phone call while I was in the grocery store, from a nurse at a surgeon's office.  In the time it takes to say just the words, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but the results are back and you have cancer..." my whole world permanently altered.

My whole world changed again with the utterance, "We need a divorce."

Today, my world tipped again.

I got a message saying that I should come in to discuss the position that I've interviewed four times for, and there is "positive news."

Dear readers, I have fought so long and hard to get my career together after a near decade of being a stay at home mom cancer patient.  I took a job in an industry that didn't interest me at all, but paid my bills and suited my life, and I was just so relieved that I wouldn't have to live in my parents' basement.  And then the unemployment, which was relatively brief in the scope of my life, but so painful.  And then the job in the new, "correct" industry of nonprofit, but at an organization that I always knew wouldn't be a long term fit for me, and with a boss who turned out to be one of my life's lessons.  I have often felt like Sisyphus, making so little progress.  The current job barely pays enough to meet all of my responsibilities, and I've been holding off on Katherine's next set of braces, and I haven't traveled or done many other things, because I couldn't.  My boss is.....well, beyond belief.  I wake up every morning with a knot in my stomach, dreading going in to the office, and I go anyway and work my brains out, scrambling to do my best because I believe in the mission of the organization and my commitment to helping their clients.  I work incredible overtime, with no praise from my boss, despite my remarkable results.  (I took the job to get the experience that I needed to get the jobs I really wanted.)

But this new job?

Oh.  I hardly have enough words to describe how I feel.

I will be my own boss, the Executive Director.  The board is a group of incredibly talented, motivated, fabulous women.  I will be doing the work that I'm good at, and I'll be able to help women who are fighting for their lives.

I will be able to prove to my daughter that when adversity hits - cancer - I know how to turn it into something beautiful.  I am turning the hell that was my cancer treatment into something that will save women, feed my soul, make the world into  a better place.

I get a raise - a big one; I won't be rich, but I will be able to breathe again, to save, to be less panicked at each new expense.  I get to work from home, with my tired, achy old dog - the most loyal creature to have ever lived - at my feet, and be at home many days when Katherine arrives home from school (I envision having a cup of herbal tea together for a moment before she does homework and I go back to the downstairs office to finish my day).  I get to go out into the community, and grow this small nonprofit into something sizable that can make a bigger difference.  I get to call my own shots, while working with people I respect, and changing the world.

I'm good at what I do, with results that prove that, and I am going to be great at this.  I feel it in my soul, and my heart bursts with the joy of it.

I haven't signed anything yet, and so it's hard to believe it's really happening, but what I know is this:

I am meeting with the board president to discuss the position, and she has positive news.

I just felt the world tip.


  1. Congratulations on your wonderful new position! So very happy for you, and I know you will do great things for this organization that is smart enough to see your value and give you reign to express it on their behalf.

    Like you, I wanted to take the experience in my life of an unplanned and un-wished for challenge that I faced and survived and turn it into something beneficial. Working for a non-profit that supported families affected by domestic violence was important to me. By doing what I do best and most passionately for them, I made a huge impact, helped them meet goals and surpass expectations. And that's something to be proud of! I'm proud of me AND of you, Polly. Here's to new dreams, new goals, and new challenges to bring out the best in us all! <3